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The Nevada Independent

PHOTOS: Nevadans gather for state holiday celebration marked by campaigning prohibition

2023 was the first year candidates weren't allowed to advertise their race -- and some attendees said the less-political parade was for the better.
Carly Sauvageau
Carly Sauvageau
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Organizers said the biting cold early Saturday morning did not deter thousands of Nevadans from attending Carson City’s annual Nevada Day celebration, complete with a parade featuring marching bands from across the state and even a beard contest.

Nevada’s birthday party attracts Silver State residents from the sage to the pine and everywhere in between.

"[Nevada Day] means history. It means it's for the people," Gov. Joe Lombardo said in an interview.

Underlying the traditions and festivities were reminders of the country’s divided political climate. This marks the first year political hopefuls were prohibited from individually campaigning during the parade, a significant part of the day, even during years when the general election is more than a year away. 

“Who’s not running for governor?” a parade emcee joked during the 2021 parade. “We’ve seen like seven candidates already.”

 The prohibition was intentionally given a trial run in an off-year, when the state wasn’t holding a general election in less than a week, Nevada Day Inc. Executive Director Brooke Santina said. 

Excessive litter from political flyers and the increasing political divide were among the reasons Santina said Nevada Day, Inc. decided to prohibit individual campaigning. 

“If we don't have the continual triggers for people that are very passionate about their side, and they don't see the opposite side going down the street over and over and over … that would be maybe a bit of a safer type of environment,” Santina said. “So we thought we'd give it a shot. See what happens.”

However, numerous elected officials walked in the parade and those who are up for election in 2024 joined either the Democratic or Republican party floats.

Kris Kauffman, a lifelong Carson City resident, said he's been going to the parade for decades and appreciated the lack of political discourse this year.

"I do see a little less hooting and hollering from the crowds, which is always good," Kauffman said. "I'm a pacifist when it comes to that type of stuff."

A child waves a Nevada flag during the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Dancing horses pass in front of the Nevada State Museum during the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) poses for a photo with His Excellency Kevin Baugh, President and Raïs of Molossia, Protector of the Nation and Guardian of the People, along with his wife, Molossian First Lady, Madame Adrianne Baugh, at the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
The Carson High School Band performs at the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Chairman Arlan Melendez rides in the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
A float of the USS Nevada passes in front of the Legislature during the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) during the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
The Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
A member of Danzantes Unidos de Nevada walks in the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
The Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
A woman competes in the 50th Annual World Champion Single Jack Drilling Contest during Nevada Day in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Parade spectators during the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
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